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Recommendations / WTB Calcium Reactor


Zwickm
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After hearing so many arguments supporting the use of a calcium reactor over 2 part, I'm looking to make the switch!

 

Hoping to hear the forums recommendations of brands for both the reactor and necessary accessories.

 

Also would love to purchase one from someone if in good condition.

 

Thanks!

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Geo seems to be the brand of choice. I use an old reef octopus and it's done me well. I don't have wall to wall sps so my reactor has a little lighter duty than some but it still has its work cut out. I do love that I literally ran it for over a year on one bag of reborn media and a 5lb tank. In that time I've only done minor fiddling with it and the tank has done great! More or less set and forget. I would get a decent controller for it either with a Milwaukee or run it off your aquarium controller. Mine runs off my ReefKeeper.

 

For the feed pump I run it off a manifold from my return pump. Some people do it cheap with small pumps, others go fancy with masterflex dosing pumps.

 

As said though, a lot of recommendations will come from your tank size and goals. Overall I'm glad I made the switch and I'm sure you will be too!

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Invest in a great regulator!  I tried an 85 dollar reg/solenoid/needle valve combo.  Misery for me.  The biggest problem was when the pressure would drop off.  The Co2 decreases, effluent ph goes up, you gotta open the valve more but that requires human intervention.

 

I didn't realize this at first, but oxygen dual stage regulators can be easily converted to CO2 (thank you SaltwaterNewbie and Wanareef).  Picked up a brand new regulator off of ebay for 135 bucks.

 

Concoa 315 http://www.ebay.com/itm/121631556145?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

The needle valve is this guy:

 

http://www.fabco-air.com/products/flow_controls/NV-55-18.html

 

The solenoid is one of any out of that article below.  Mine is not so great.  However the effluent ph is amazingly stable and the solenoid is not opening/closing.

 

Now the reactor has been a dream.  My reactor is a PM downflow old school and it works fine.  I have never had a nice Geo though so hard to comment.

 

This is a great article on how to put together a solid regulator and needle valve setup

 

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2461771

 

Hope this is helpful

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Great info Jeremy. I would agree; the meat and potatoes of the system are the regulator, c02 valve, and effluent valve. Reactor is literally just a container with a pump recirculating water through it. Highly recommend the two stage regulator with Fabco c02 valve.

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Thanks for all the great responses! I know almost nothing about Calcium reactor setups and configurations so more research is a must but this is all helpful for me.

 

My tank has about 50 gallons of water volume and is mostly SPS. It's heavily stocked with frags and some established colonies.  I need to add about 96ml Alk and 88ml Ca of BRS 2 part each day to maintain optimal levels.  I do plan to upgrade to a 150ish but it won't be for a year or two.

 

Good to know that the investment should be focused on the regulator, c02 valve, and effluent valve.  I have an Apex i plan to use to control it.  

I'll look in to what Jeremy recommended but please keep sending any suggestions and advice my way :)

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Awesome!

 

Apex rocks for controlling it.  Some of the cool things it does:

 

- Turns the solenoid off and on (basic controller ability)

- Monitors for extreme low effluent ph.  Shuts off CR feed pump if that happens, email, text (solenoid failed open)

- Monitors for extreme high effluent ph.  Emails if that happens (out of co2 or solenoid failed shut)

- Monitors tank ph, if below threshold emails/texts and shuts off CR feed pump

 

Allot of this can prevent some crash scenarios.  Super easy to setup too.

 

My apex program is on reeftronics if interested

 

http://www.reeftronics.net/programns.php?member=theclark

 

Here are the relevant sections.  Super easy to setup...

 

 

[ EmailAlm_I5 ]  ( base_email )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Email
  Logging:            Disabled
  Program:
     Set OFF 
     If TempSU > 81.0 Then ON 
     If TempOV > 81.0 Then ON 
     If TempSU < 75.0 Then ON 
     If TempOV < 75.0 Then ON 
     If Outlet SW6NO_SumpHi = ON Then ON 
     If Outlet SW4NO_Leak_D = ON Then ON 
     If Outlet SW3NC_Overfl = ON Then ON 
     If Outlet SW2NC_SkimHi = ON Then ON 
     If Outlet PowerOut = ON Then ON 
     If Condx5 < 33.0 Then ON 
     If Condx5 > 36.0 Then ON 
     If Outlet CR_PH_VLOW = ON Then ON 
     If Outlet CR_PH_VHIGH = ON Then ON 
     If Outlet PH_VLOW = ON Then ON 

     Defer 000:30 Then ON 

 

[ CR_FEED_4_5 ]  ( 4_5 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Thermometer
  Logging:            Enabled
  Program:
     Fallback ON 
     Set ON 
     If Outlet CR_PH_VLOW = ON Then OFF 
     If Power EB8_4 OFF 000 Then OFF 
     If Outlet ReturnPump3 = OFF Then OFF 
     Defer 000:15 Then ON 

[ CR_SOL_4_6 ]  ( 4_6 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Light A
  Logging:            Enabled
  Program:
     Fallback ON 
     Set ON 
     If Outlet CR_PH_LOW = ON Then OFF 
     If Outlet CR_PH_HIGH = ON Then ON 

     If Outlet ReturnPump3 = OFF Then OFF 

 

 

[ CR_PH_LOW ]  ( Cntl_C6 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Thermometer
  Logging:            Disabled
  Program:
     Fallback OFF 
     Set OFF 
     If pHCRE < 6.80 Then ON 
     Defer 000:10 Then ON 

[ CR_PH_HIGH ]  ( Cntl_C7 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Left/Right Arrows
  Logging:            Enabled
  Program:
     Fallback OFF 
     Set OFF 
     If pHCRE > 6.85 Then ON 
     Defer 000:10 Then ON 

[ CR_PH_VLOW ]  ( Cntl_C8 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Left/Right Arrows
  Logging:            Disabled
  Program:
     Fallback OFF 
     Set OFF 
     If pHCRE < 6.50 Then ON 
     Defer 001:00 Then ON 

[ CR_PH_VHIGH ]  ( Cntl_C9 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Light A
  Logging:            Disabled
  Program:
     Fallback OFF 
     Set OFF 
     If pHCRE > 7.10 Then ON 
     Defer 001:00 Then ON 

[ PH_VLOW ]  ( Cntl_C10 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Light B
  Logging:            Disabled
  Program:
     Fallback OFF 
     Set OFF 
     If pHSump < 7.70 Then ON 
     Defer 002:00 Then ON 

[ PH_VHIGH ]  ( Cntl_C11 )
  Program Type: Advanced
  Display Icon:    Up/Down Arrows
  Logging:            Disabled
  Program:
     Fallback OFF 
     Set OFF 
     If pHSump > 8.40 Then ON 
     Defer 002:00 Then ON 

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Awesome!

 

Apex rocks for controlling it.  Some of the cool things it does:

 

- Turns the solenoid off and on (basic controller ability)

- Monitors for extreme low effluent ph.  Shuts off CR feed pump if that happens, email, text (solenoid failed open)

- Monitors for extreme high effluent ph.  Emails if that happens (out of co2 or solenoid failed shut)

- Monitors tank ph, if below threshold emails/texts and shuts off CR feed pump

 

Allot of this can prevent some crash scenarios.  Super easy to setup too.

 

My apex program is on reeftronics if interested

 

http://www.reeftronics.net/programns.php?member=theclark

 

Here are the relevant sections.  Super easy to setup...

 

 

[ EmailAlm_I5 ]  ( base_email )  Program Type: Advanced[/size]  Display Icon:    Email[/size]  Logging:            Disabled[/size]  Program:[/size]     Set OFF [/size]     If TempSU > 81.0 Then ON [/size]     If TempOV > 81.0 Then ON [/size]     If TempSU < 75.0 Then ON [/size]     If TempOV < 75.0 Then ON [/size]     If Outlet SW6NO_SumpHi = ON Then ON [/size]     If Outlet SW4NO_Leak_D = ON Then ON [/size]     If Outlet SW3NC_Overfl = ON Then ON [/size]     If Outlet SW2NC_SkimHi = ON Then ON [/size]     If Outlet PowerOut = ON Then ON [/size]     If Condx5 < 33.0 Then ON [/size]     If Condx5 > 36.0 Then ON [/size]     If Outlet CR_PH_VLOW = ON Then ON [/size]     If Outlet CR_PH_VHIGH = ON Then ON [/size]     If Outlet PH_VLOW = ON Then ON [/size]     Defer 000:30 Then ON [/size]

 

[ CR_FEED_4_5 ]  ( 4_5 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Thermometer

  Logging:            Enabled

  Program:

     Fallback ON 

     Set ON 

     If Outlet CR_PH_VLOW = ON Then OFF 

     If Power EB8_4 OFF 000 Then OFF 

     If Outlet ReturnPump3 = OFF Then OFF 

     Defer 000:15 Then ON 

[ CR_SOL_4_6 ]  ( 4_6 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Light A

  Logging:            Enabled

  Program:

     Fallback ON 

     Set ON      If Outlet CR_PH_LOW = ON Then OFF 

     If Outlet CR_PH_HIGH = ON Then ON 

     If Outlet ReturnPump3 = OFF Then OFF 

 

 

[ CR_PH_LOW ]  ( Cntl_C6 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Thermometer

  Logging:            Disabled

  Program:

     Fallback OFF 

     Set OFF 

     If pHCRE < 6.80 Then ON 

     Defer 000:10 Then ON 

[ CR_PH_HIGH ]  ( Cntl_C7 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Left/Right Arrows

  Logging:            Enabled

  Program:

     Fallback OFF 

     Set OFF 

     If pHCRE > 6.85 Then ON 

     Defer 000:10 Then ON 

[ CR_PH_VLOW ]  ( Cntl_C8 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Left/Right Arrows

  Logging:            Disabled

  Program:

     Fallback OFF 

     Set OFF 

     If pHCRE < 6.50 Then ON 

     Defer 001:00 Then ON 

[ CR_PH_VHIGH ]  ( Cntl_C9 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Light A

  Logging:            Disabled

  Program:

     Fallback OFF 

     Set OFF 

     If pHCRE > 7.10 Then ON 

     Defer 001:00 Then ON 

[ PH_VLOW ]  ( Cntl_C10 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Light B

  Logging:            Disabled

  Program:

     Fallback OFF 

     Set OFF 

     If pHSump < 7.70 Then ON 

     Defer 002:00 Then ON 

[ PH_VHIGH ]  ( Cntl_C11 )

  Program Type: Advanced

  Display Icon:    Up/Down Arrows

  Logging:            Disabled

  Program:

     Fallback OFF 

     Set OFF 

     If pHSump > 8.40 Then ON 

     Defer 002:00 Then ON

 

holy cow Jeremy you are the apex man.
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Wow, that is some impressive Apex programming Jeremy!! That'll come in handy once i'm ready to get my reactor hooked up!

 

Anyone used this regulator before? - http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reef-fanatic-deluxe-co2-regulator.html

 

I'm tempted to just go with a pre-assembled regulator vs. picking out individual parts to assemble since i am new to using a Ca Reactor....  But i'm not opposed if i could have something much better by getting separate parts.

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Ah, thank you.  That looks complicated but it is pretty easy, not a big deal and please do re-use it if possible.  My apex code is 'open source' ;)

 

If you can find pre-assembled with dual stage regulator (not dual gauge), I say go for it. 

 

Don't believe those ones are dual stage though.

 

Some guys do great without a dual stage, but in my case it paid off to upgrade.

 

Good luck on the investigation, that's half the fun!

 

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I have the Aquamaxx s2 on my tank and I'm really happy with it, I'd say I'm not too far from having it maxed out with 200 gallons of water and the amount of coral I have. The s1 should do you just fine.

As for controlling the reactor I have a very different view on how to run a reactor but that's for a totally different thread! The only thing my apex does is turn my reactor off in case the tank ph drops below a set ph value. I've seen many tank crashes from people turning their co2 off and on via a controller we can get into that in a different thread.

Any quality regulator will do it's job for a long time but I defintely suggest buying a better needle valve.

Edited by Arsonmfg
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I run a aquamaxx reactor on my 90 and it has been a very solid unit for me. I am running a Victor dual stage reg, clippard mouse solenoid and ideal needle valve for my post body

 

Sent from my HTC6525LVW using Tapatalk

Edited by earthbound
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